My Blogging And Personal Goals For 2016

My Blogging And Personal Goals For 2016

2016 Goals

I can’t quite believe that it is the last day of 2015! I thought I would just sit down and have a natter, if that’s okay with you? Believe it or not but I actually started writing this post with my hair in some crazy half up/half down do in the back of a four hour car journey to see my nephew the other day however I’m now finishing it off snuggled in bed with Bug’s Life playing in the background and world’s largest selection of chocolate placed next to me… 

2015 started of badly but surprisingly ended rather well. It’s been full of negative relationships and anxiety however on the flip side of this I’ve met Edd who makes me feel so happy and is an amazing person to be around, I have transferred to a different course that I’ll be starting at the end of January, Millie and Charlie are bundles of joy and my nephew has been born. I’ve met Ben Haenow and explored my photography skills too.

It’s been a good’un for the blog too. I reply to all your comments and want to take on board any ideas you want to see from The July Journal in the coming year too. I really enjoy writing about what I get up too with some cruelty free beauty reviews thrown in the mix too. 

2016 Goals The July Journal

New Year’s Resolutions are hard. It’s true, everyone knows it. Similar to last year, this is my list of goals that I hope to achieve by this time next year. Well that’s a little scary, isn’t it?! 

Put More Time And Effort Into My Blog/Social Media – For some time I haven’t loved my blog as much as I did when I first started. I want to change this and I want to fall back in love with blogging and social media. I want to make my content much better than it is at the moment, I want to improve my photography and possibly include more of me on this little corner of the internet, maybe adding a unique twist to some of my posts. I still want to keep to my 3-4 posts a week schedule because I feel like I remember that it’s just a hobby and I enjoy it more. For some reason I don’t stress myself out as much either. 

Let’s Double It Up – I really want to double my social media numbers. I know it’s not about how many people you have that follow you but I really want to increase my following. I want to produce content that you enjoy reading and crave more. In an ideal world I am going to try and post more so I can reach 500 followers on Instagram, 500 followers on Bloglovin’ and 1,600 followers on Twitter but we will see how this goes! 

Combat My Anxiety – I’m not necessarily saying I want to cure it because I think that you can’t cure anxiety. Everyone gets nervous about something at least once during their life. It’s a natural feeling. However, over recent weeks my anxiety seems to be a lot worse. Some days I struggle to get out of bed and go on public transport, others I don’t sleep because of how bad it is. Edd brought a worry eater for Christmas which I have been using since but sometimes this doesn’t even work. Let me know if you have any tips! 

Look After Myself More – For the majority of 2015 I have wanted to lose at least one dress size, if not two. This year, I am going to achieve this! I want to stop all the chocolate and takeaways and replace it with the gym once a week and a lot more fruits and vegetables. I am even thinking of joining Slimming World. I have a lot of things planned with Edd and his family this year so I want to feel confident in how I look around them. 

Adventures – The one thing I love more than anything is travelling to different countries or cities and writing about them. I want more of them! I’ve already planned to see my sister next weekend and head to Centre Parcs in May which I’m very much looking forward to. If you have any places that you love visiting, please let me know! 

Take Care Of My Second Blog – For those of you who don’t know but I have a second blog, Behind The Student. It’s a blog where I ramble on about all things social media, marketing and PR related and I’ve really started to fall in love with it. I’m thinking of writing twice a week on that little corner of the internet so if there is anything you would like to learn then please let me know and I’ll see what I can do. 

Where’s That Vegan Gone?! – Recently I’ve trailed away from a vegan lifestyle. I hate dairy and I feel bad for eating it. Veganuary starts again tomorrow and I thought it’s the best way to cut dairy back out of my system. I eat so much more fruits and vegetables with this lifestyle and hopefully it will encourage my weight loss too! 

I’m actually really looking forward to what next year brings! I hope this didn’t bore you too much. What’s on your 2016 goals list? Anything similar? I’m off to finish my Cadbury’s Fudge now so I’ll catch you next year! 

My Blogging And Personal Goals For 2016

Christmas Blogger Treats

If you have followed my blog for a long time then you will know that last year I took part in a blogger’s Christmas Gift Swap where I was matched with the lovely Katy from The Lilac Scrapbook. I loved being able to find gifts for someone who I didn’t know much about and read her thoughts on them after Christmas Day. This year is no different! In fact, I have took part in two. The first is #ChristmasBloggerBoxShare ran by Becky and Ms Mistry where you were entitled to send the blogger your matched with £10 worth of gifts and the #TLSxmas Gift Swap ran by Katy herself.

Personally I think it’s a brilliant way to meet new bloggers and get to know what other people are like. After I started reading Katy’s blog, I was hooked and now she is one of my faves.

Firstly, I would like to mention that Christmas isn’t all about giving presents and spending money on each other. Rhian from Chapter And Circle actually created a Blogger Christmas Card Swap. It was similar to a secret Santa where we are sending cards to different people. Mine was to the lovely Holly who blogs over at Bisous, Holly Olivia and I received a lovely one from Kathy who blogs at Lace And Whimsy. Both girls are amazing and I highly recommend checking them both out!

#ChristmasBloggerBoxShare

Christmas Blogger Gifts

Christmas Blogger Gifts

For #ChristmasBloggerBoxShare, I was paired with Sophie. You should check out her blog, Cotton Cloth Eco.

The first thing I picked out of my present from Sophie was a lovely written letter that I’ve added to my inspiration wall. It was such a lovely, personal touch to any present. Inside my box were a bunch of thoughtful gifts all individually wrapped. There was a lovely selection of vegan friendly chocolate that I haven’t got round to trying yet including: a mint Mini Moo, a Round Up which is a vegan friendly version of the wagon wheels and dark chocolate coins.

She also included Christmas Snowflake Bath Creamer and Snowman Christmas Bath Melt from Vegan Harmony. Vegan Harmony is a family business founded by two sisters who are 100% against animal testing. Personally I have never came across the brand but since having received her present, I am interested in trying more from the brand and will more than likely be making an order in the near future!

#TLSxmas

Christmas Blogger Gifts Christmas Blogger Gifts

For Katy’s #TLSxmas Gift Swap, I was paired with Abi. You should check her blog out too, Blue Striped Square.

After a few Twitter exchanges, finding out what each other likes, we decided to make ours Lush themed because we both love it so much. Although, I did add a few extra sneaky bits in Abi’s box too! I do think Abi has done an excellent job.

Inside my box was So White, Luxury Lush Pud, Stardust and Shoot For The Stars that are all part of the limited edition range and Think Pink that smells lovely and is available all year round. I love all of them, especially So White! Good choices Abi!

Both of the girls did such a lovely job and I really like everything that I have received! I hope Abi and Sophie like the gifts they received from me too. I can’t wait to take part in another Blogger Gift Swap next year, maybe I should create my own.

Have you joined in any Christmas Gift Swaps? Let me know what you received this year!

My Blogging And Personal Goals For 2016

My 2015 Goal Updates

Blog Goal Updates

At the start of the month, I wrote a post all about what I wanted to achieve by 2016 (read here). Today I wanted to look back on those goals and the goals made at the end of last year (read here) too. Goals are so important in achieving life things I think. I know that having a goal pushes me to try harder!

2015 Goal Updates 

Be positive. I said in my previous post that I wanted to adopt an ‘I can’ attitude and with the help of friends and family, I have felt a lot more positive and happier with my life. I have tried to not look so negatively at my future and think what I can do at this present time to keep me happy.

Social Media Goals. I wanted to reach 400 followers on Bloglovin’ and 375 followers on Instagram. Unfortunately I am not quite there yet but I am a lot closer than what I was earlier this month. Looking back at the whole year, my blog has gained many more page views and doubled in followers which I am so happy about!

Try new things. I have started Headspace sessions in the hope it helps with my anxiety and panic attacks but also the lack of sleep that has recently re-appeared in my life. They have helped calm both down and my sleep has improved dramatically over the course of this month. Ten minutes really isn’t a lot of time out of your day to feel relaxed. I also said that I wanted to stop sticking to the same thing all the time. Due to lots of opportunities with PR companies, I have managed to find some amazing brands that have all been shared on this little corner of the internet. I have also tried new foods because I have wanted to choose healthier options. I think going vegan really has helped because I have started to enjoy eating fruit and veg over chocolate and crisps. Don’t get me wrong I still have my treats but it’s not as often now.

Pay off those debts. I have paid off every debt apart from one which I have managed to set up a direct monthly fee that will be finished in May. This has probably contributed to me feeling a lot more positive than the start of this year. I’ve also managed to get a contract out in my own name for my phone which is a massive step for me.

I have also managed to finish the three books that I started and loved all of them! My room has been organised and all the rubbish has been thrown out and I have managed to spend some time with friends before Christmas. To summarise, I feel that December has been the most useful and positive month out of the whole year although I do want to carry on with the ones I didn’t quite achieve yet. I can’t wait to see what 2016 brings!

Have you managed to achieve your goals this year? Stay tuned for next year’s blog goals!

My Blogging And Personal Goals For 2016

Christmas Day Traditions

Christmas The July Journal

Happy Christmas!

Christmas Day is the best day of year! That’s a fact. It’s full of unique moments cherished by each individual, family and friend. Some people go to their local pub for Christmas dinner, some spend it with many family members and others pretend the day doesn’t even exist, so I thought I would share my Christmas traditions!

Confession: I have been awake since 5.30am. However this is not for tearing off the Christmas paper in the quickest time possible; it’s to say good morning to my furry little friends, Millie and Charlie. Although I don’t do mornings well, these two brighten up my day and I can’t wait for them to open a selection of presents on their first Christmas later today. Now that I am 22 years old, I do miss the excitement and enthusiasm of running downstairs waking everyone up and receiving presents from ‘Santa‘. I’m sure everyone does but it’s nice to just have a chilled morning and enjoy the moment.

Usually, I would see my sister and brother-in-law for today’s festive celebrations but this year things are a little bit different. My first nephew has just been born so they are staying put while I get the chance to see my Dad this morning, spend some quality family time round at my Aunt’s house opening Christmas presents and eating a delicious Christmas dinner this afternoon and then spend some time with Edd and his family this evening. Just a little side note: my nephew, Noel Kaden Creasey, is a healthy 7lb 5oz and is currently getting used to being in the real world with my sister, brother-in-law and Frank the sausage dog. I’m really looking forward to it and I’m so excited to spend the rest of today with loved ones and doing something different to what usually happens. I just wanted to pop by and wish you all a massive Merry Christmas before all the festive goodness begins!

I hope you have a wonderful day! What’s your favourite part of Christmas Day? Let me know in the comments!

My Blogging And Personal Goals For 2016

Vegan Peppermint and Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

Vegan Peppermint and Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

Baking. What better way to spend your Christmas Eve, eh?! I have always been in charge of pudding for Christmas Day, probably because I love baking and experimenting with flavours. This year I have decided to bake Peppermint and Chocolate Chip Cupcakes. I have made the cakes quite a couple of times before and they have went down a treat so I thought I would share the recipe with you!

Vegan Peppermint and Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

Ingredients: 

125g vegan butter

125g caster sugar

1 banana, mashed

175g self raising flour

25g cocoa powder

1 tsp baking powder

75g dark chocolate chips

25g clear hard peppermint sweets, crushed

350g icing sugar

100g vegan butter

peppermint flavouring

green food colouring

dark chocolate chips for sprinkling

Vegan Peppermint and Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

Method: 

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Line a cake tin with paper cases.

2. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the mashed banana with self raising flour, cocoa powder and baking powder. Fold in the chocolate chips and crushed peppermint sweets.

3. Spoon into cases and bake for 15- 20 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

4. For the frosting, cream butter and icing sugar together with 1 tbsp warm water, peppermint extract and green food colouring. Mix until it forms a butter consistency.

5. Once the cakes are cool, spread the icing over the cakes and place a square of dark chocolate on top of each cake. Previously I have used dark chocolate chips and mint creams too.

The cakes taste delicious and the mint gives it that festive feel! It just shows that you don’t need animal ingredients to make tasty treats. The cakes usually keep for 3-4 days if placed in an airtight container.

Vegan Peppermint and Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

Vegan Peppermint and Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

Let me know if you bake them, I would love to see your posts!